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Thursday, July 30, 2009

True Story

Editor's Note: When I was a little girl I wanted to be an archaeologist (the only reason I can spell that word without missing a beat).

I entered my freshman year of college with 32 credits, thank you AP classes. Realizing that I was essentially a sophomore I decided to play around with the course load I took that first year. In no particular order some of the more ridiculous things my college fund paid for were:

African Drumming
Classical Archaeology 1101
Greek Mythology 1101
Classical Archaeology 1102
Presidential Politics & Rhetoric

I was a BUSINESS major.

Anyway, one day I'm lounging in my Mythology course watching my professor outline a Greek (or was it Roman?) genealogy on the chalkboard when he suddenly pauses, chalk in mid-air.

He stands like this for several seconds, long enough for me to look around and realize I am the only student actually paying attention to him. (As you might imagine, it was a small class.)

I'm beginning to wonder what's going on when his face suddenly goes sheet-white. Again, I am the only student looking anywhere remotely in his direction and now I'm starting to to worry. Then his eyes roll back, the chalk pings against the linoleum and he slumps to the ground behind his desk. At this point, several students look up from their crosswords, but no one makes a move...yet

Enter Katie - first responder/mythology student extraordinaire.

I jump out of my desk - casting judgmental glances around me - and run towards him. When I see he's out cold I do a 180 and hightail it out of the classroom...

Hearing a lecture going on down the hall I burst into that classroom (which, in spite of my panic I do note is quite full) wide-eyed and breathless and yell as I've seen in the movies, "Someone call 911!" (P.S. This was before everyone had a cell phone.)

I'm not sure what exactly I was expecting, but again, no one moves. 

Realizing it's entirely up to me to save the poor professor's life I turn tail and sprint back down the hall - arriving in time to see my professor sitting in his chair with a few students gathered around, fanning him with their crosswords.

He quickly dismissed class for the day. The next time class met, it was as if it had never happened. And fortunately no one called 911, which in retrospect might have been a bit of an overreaction. 

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Warning: Total Parental Indulgence Ahead

I attacked Little E with my camera yesterday morning while he was in his crib. I wanted to document the stinking adorableness he greets me with when I go in to get him each morning.

My mobile is amazing.

Oh hi Mommy!

What's with the big black thing?

Mommy! Put the camera down and get me outta here!

This is enough to make me want another one right now. Yikes.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Uncle Lee

Meet Uncle Lee.

Uncle Lee is a serious competitor. He has never met a board game he couldn't master in minutes. He has never lost a game of Scrabble in his life...go on....challenge the man.

He is an expert in the most ridiculous of sporting events - corn hole, ladder ball, tennis (maybe not so ridiculous) and flag football.

He is also hilarious. He's the "funny one" in our family. I don't know if being dubbed the funny one ever bothers him, but his sense of humor is a God-given gift and I'm grateful I get to reap the benefits of it so often.

Uncle Lee works for a hip ad-agency in the ATL which means he has access to fancy photo-editing software. It also means his job is way cooler than yours. Sorry, thems the facts.

So last week my dad sent an email to the family with this picture and asked, "...look like anyone we know?"

Little E likes to fall asleep like's excellent.

Uncle Lee sent this back in response.

Frightening? Yes. Funny? Yes. Everyone should have an Uncle Lee.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Like Mother Like Son

My mom found this picture of me a few days ago.

I'd been wondering who E gets his faces from...

Friday, July 24, 2009

The Spoon Ran Away With Your Dish...

Right after Little E came along our wonderful friends and family bombarded us with casseroles, take-out and frozen meals. Somehow everyone figured out that lasagna is hands down my favorite meal ever. We were served up no less than 7 lasagnas. At one point I had four in my freezer - seriously. I actually still have one left. They were all deliciously different.

All this generosity meant that I didn't actually start cooking again until last week. Yippee!

However it also means I have this motley collection of dishware hanging out on top of my refrigerator.

The original idea was that keeping it all out in the open would remind me to return the pieces to their rightful owners... but you know that the longer you see something in your home, the less you actually see something in your home.

So friends if you're reading this and you don't know what happened to your favorite bowl or casserole dish, I'm sorry. I haven't stolen it. I do intend to re-unite you with it.

One day.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Name Games

Now that we're 11 weeks into Little E's life and he's cooperating with my demands that he sleep a full 12 hours at night, I'm certainly feeling like I've got this parenting thing in the bag.

(I do realize this is a ridiculous thought, but that doesn't change the fact that I'm thinking it. Pride is one of my many character flaws)

So with my new-found (should that be hyphenated? I need an editor) confidence I've started thinking about names for my future children and I recently realized they must fit the mold of abbreviated names in this household.

B Daddy's full name is Brandon Joel, aka B.J. At some point in our dating relationship I found it too taxing to pronounce both letters each time I needed attention, so I began calling him "B".

Years later, along comes Big Brown...aka Dakota. Again, Dakota is a mouthful when you simply want to comment on how trim and fit she's looking these days, so I usually refer to her as "D"(Unless of course she has just thrown up on our bedroom carpet, in which case I pull out her full moniker, Dakota Ann.)

And then we decided to have a child. We named him Elijah because I think it's beautiful and BJ thinks it's strong and -hallelujah- it just happens to fit in with B and D... I usually just call the squirt E.

My name of course doesn't play along with this little game at all, but I rarely refer to myself in third person and B Daddy doesn't find Katie as taxing as I apparently find all multi-syllable names, so we're good on that account.

So what letters do I have to choose from for all future family members?
C, G, P, T, V and the one I'm most excited about...Z

Any suggestions??

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

BFFs Forever

A few years back I became a reluctant convert to the whole idea of social networking. Mainly, I had a hard time seeing the point of posting pictures and information about yourself for any and everyone to see. After a few months of occasionally checking my MySpace page and changing my profile song to appear cooler than I actually was - I gave up the page in favor of Facebook because apparently, that's what all the cool kids were doing. Now, 2 years later, almost everyone in my family (including my grandfather!) has a Facebook page. If you want to be GranStan's friend, let me know and I'll hook you up.

Facebook makes me happy for two reasons:

1. No profile song needed
2. All the cool kids really do have Facebook pages

Re-connecting with all the cool kids has been a blast for me because I didn't grow up in one town, one state or even one country. I don't run into girls I made friendship bracelets with at the grocery store and didn't pledge the sorority my best friend from kindergarten was pledging. (I didn't pledge a sorority at all in fact, bad example. But I did make some mean friendship bracelets growing up.)

My dad's job kept our family constantly on the move when I was growing up. I was born in Jacksonville, Florida and the longest I lived anywhere until college was 5 years.

Here's a picture of me outside our home in Jacksonville. I'm 18 months old and this is the 3rd home I'd lived in already.

Moving around every couple of years in the days before Facebook and email required letters or long-distance phone calls - basically a level of effort beyond my years. Consequently I lost touch with friends I would have loved to have kept up with through high school and college...which brings me to the topic of today's post. -Phew-

My forever BFF from Orlando, Florida (I lived there through the fads of neon clothing and NKOTB - and yes I did see them in concert. I still have a Joey doll somewhere) messaged me on Facebook last week to say she was driving through Atlanta on her way to visit a friend and did I have time to get together? DID I?? Of course I did!

Lauren and I became BFFs when our mothers ran into each other registering us for the first day of school at Wekiva Elementary. They both had daughters going into the 1st and 3rd grades and were both new to town...naturally their girls should become best friends.

Halfway through 3rd grade my family moved away and I think the last time I saw Lauren was in the early 90s. It was completely surreal to see her pull into my driveway with her husband.

I remember loving this outfit...
I remember loving every time I had matching neon socks for my neon outfit.

I still lean over like this when I'm the tallest person in a picture, it makes me feel awkward.

Here's a picture taken just last week - thanks Derek!

Looking back now, maybe I'd be better off if I always let my mom pick out my friends.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Delayed gratification

A while ago I read about the following psychological study:

Researchers put young children in a room, gave them each a marshmallow and then left - giving the children instructions that if they didn't eat their marshmallow while the researcher was out, they could have two marshmallows when the researcher came back in.

Apparently the children involved in the study were tracked over the years and those who were able to hold out for both marshmallows were found to be more successful and well-adjusted adults than those who couldn't wait.

In theory this makes total sense. What's amazing to me is how difficult this concept is to put into practice.

Case in point - I adore handbags. Love them. Love Them. Probably could never have enough of them. Any men reading simply can't and won't understand this affection.

However due to my budget-consciousness (see Financial Freedom post), I usually sport cheap handbags. Target and H&M have an incredible selection. The bags are great for a few months until they fall apart due to poor construction from cheap materials.

Constantly replacing these bags has easily cost several hundred dollars over the years - and so I recently vowed to B Daddy that I would not buy another cheap bag. Nope, I was going to save up all of those twenties and buy something like this:

The next day I promptly went out and spent $10 on this:

- Sigh -

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Financial Freedom

Back in the summer of 2007 B Daddy and I realized we needed to tighten up the way we handled our finances if we intended to own a ranch on a big piece of land in the middle of nowhere someday.

Around that time Dave Ramsey came to speak at our church about his process of "Baby Steps" for taking control of your money and your life. It made sense to us. Here's Dave's list and where our family is on this journey:

Baby Step #1 - Build up a $1000.00 emergency fund

Baby Step #2 - Eliminate debt, beginning with your smallest debts first
This took us 14 months - we paid off our second mortgage in this step.

Baby Step #3 - Build your emergency fund to 3-6 months of living expenses
We were able to finish this out around Christmas last year.

Baby Step #4 - Contribute 15% of your gross income to retirement accounts each year
We are here now and don't guess we'll ever "finish" this step. Boo.

Baby Step #5 - Contribute to college accounts for any children you have
We need to start one for Little E...

Baby Step #6 - Pay off your home mortgage early
Not there yet...

Baby Step #7 - Build wealth and give.
We are looking forward to getting here!

We have yet to have a fight about money in 4 years of marriage. And not because we always agree, but because we're on the same page...and to us, financial freedom looks a lot like this.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Joining the Club

Exactly 10 weeks into my new adventure in life called parenthood...I've decided to join the blogging community. I'm hoping to chronicle this time in my life while also providing entertaining, light-hearted, thought provoking and/or merely informative reading for my mother and sister. To anyone else reading, I hope you enjoy it too.

Here's the cast of characters livin' this Crazy Joy life

B Daddy
My best friend & husband - asked me to marry him the night before his college graduation

Little E
Our 10 week old squirt - effectively stole my heart after 6 weeks of not being sure I liked him - just being honest!

Big Brown
Our rescue chocolate lab - she keeps me on my toes when it comes to vacuuming

Yours Truly
Late 20-something wife, daughter, sister and mother - striving to enjoy this time of life with all its triumphs and trials

That's it! No revelations today...just an introduction. We'll see how long it takes me to run out of things to say.

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